What Does Not Kill…


Today made yesterday look like a trip to the Enchanted Kingdom. Yesterday was such a steady ongoing call to the Dark Side that by bedtime I felt like a champ for maintaining good behavior. Little did I know what was in store for me today. Today was a balls out challenge to everything my ego ever supported.  I was in a situation at work that so insulted me that in a flash of a moment, all the mean, righteous “smack down” I ever worked so hard to dissolve, rose up in a heartbeat like a great monster tsunami to gleefully obliterate the irritating fly in my ointment.

For a moment, I could actually feel the victory of leaving this person boiling in the humiliation I was so ready to drown them in. Seriously. Did you actually read the last three sentences I just wrote? Not only did I really write them, but today for several critical moments, I meant them with my whole being.

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t  have given any of this a second thought. But this is not a fairy tale, or an episode of Dexter. This is my constantly (I hope) evolving self, who at the moment of critical fail, chose not to use my well-known weapons of mass destruction. Fearing my lack of ability to speak with any kindness or wisdom at all, I put myself on momentary lock-down until my potential “begging to be a victim” escaped with his dignity intact.

I cannot express adequately the difficulty of this feat. My unfortunately legendary and much feared head-lopping abilities were appalled at being held back, and my ego begged to set things more than right. My mind kept telling me that letting this person get away with such a professional atrocity was not good for man-kind. Sometimes it is very important to smite someone most severely to teach them how not to behave. Seriously again. Can we re-read this paragraph?

I did the right and kind thing. Everyone lived happily ever after. Okay maybe not yet, but tomorrow after I calmly and kindly ensure that it is understood what will and will not be acceptable in the future, I will at least be at peace without losing the progress of my heart. But I will admit to you that IT IS KILLING ME. But that’s just the old ego talking.

What does not kill me, makes me strong. What does not kill me, makes me strong…

Pray for me. A lot. Thanks.

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Fifty Shades of Free


I was in the checkout line purchasing “adult” beverages for a cookout when the cashier (my new best friend) says “obviously you’re not over 40, so may I see your id please?”.  This happens to me a lot, and tickles me to no end because I’m going to be 51 this year.

Let me tell you why I love being exactly my age. I have courage now, a tender heart, an open mind. No, it just sounds like The Wizard of  Oz, but it’s my life I’m sharing here. I made up my mind somewhere during my 49th year that the second half of my life was going to leave the 1st half totally in the dust. I was going to rock it out. I would rule.

And thus began my journey, my adventure, my brave exploration of the world I had created for myself and the lessons I had learned. I figured it this way; I had screwed up in every way possible, hurt many, cowered back from my own dreams, and spent my whole life trying so hard to never be controlled that I became a control freak myself! I blamed everyone for anything that was wrong and refused to see I was responsible for my own life.

Now it’s going to be time for the good life.

Only the “good life” doesn’t mean the same thing to me anymore. I am a little wiser. I can differentiate  the diamonds from the dung. I”m becoming brave, which to me means that when I’m afraid to do something I know matters to me, I step up without further thought and do that thing. Like sending my writing out to be accepted or rejected. Or saying what I think, knowing I’ll be scoffed at (however kindly) and admitting that it really doesn’t matter as long as I’m always being in my truth.

I’m ready to dare a lot and I probably will, and will continue to do so. It’s an awesome feeling to have learned that I make my own life with the gifts God has given me. Nobody “did” my first 50 years to me. I created them myself based on the beliefs I had about myself at that time, and although it wasn’t pretty-the lessons learned are burned in my memory as sign posts towards a path of integrity.

I know there must be a way to share this knowledge. Not to eliminate the individual right to learn from hard knocks, but maybe how to hold onto the joy and magic of life while the lessons are learned.  To be courageous enough not to shut down to protect the heart, to reach out in love or compassion when the offer could be knocked aside. To actually celebrate each unique individual as a living expression of God’s creativity.

I honestly do want my son to learn his own personal lessons in life, whatever they may be. But I pray with all my being that he do so with the courage  of an open heart, open mind, and open arms. May he not allow circumstances to subjugate him, to remove his fire, or dim the Technicolor of the world he sees.

My prayer for everyone is that they not wait for 50 years of age to free themselves from their “Stepford” selves, but if you’ve waited that long, or longer…open your eyes, and wake up.

There are no do-overs, so step up in this moment, right now, open your arms and heart wide and say “Thank You”.